Rugged Android phones are an interesting breed of smartphone – you get a robust, sturdy design, combined with software that’s tailored for quick computations, communication, and a whole other host of applications. One such device is the Doogee S89 Pro, a rugged device with a few surprises up its sleeve. We have it here with us today, and we’re gonna take a look at what it has to offer.
Unboxing and Design
The S89 Pro comes in a large box befitting of its stature, and in addition to the phone you get a generous serving of accessories, such as a charging brick, USB-C cable, and even a screen protector application kit. There’s also some paperwork like your manuals and such.
Compared to the average smartphone, the S89 Pro is a very large device – it easily dwarfs other tall handsets like the Google Pixel 6, and its design doesn’t shy out on the rather thick build, which is understandable given the large battery capacity and extra padding on the outside. This does result in some heavy handling, but on one hand I wasn’t afraid to drop the phone given its protective build. The phone also features a removable backplate for added protection, doubling down on the already-established durability of the device.
The S89 Pro is built to be tough, as evidenced by its MIL-STD-810 certified durability. The phone’s external styling features tough polycarbonate materials, with aluminum reinforcements on the sides – even the buttons are made of metal, something that’s mostly seen on premium phones. You get three buttons on the S89 Pro, which include a volume rocker, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and a programmable key on the left-hand side. The charging port, 3.5mm jack, as well as sim card tray are protected by water-resistant flaps. Overall it’s a sturdy build, and should survive drops and bumps on a daily basis.
On the front is a 6.3-inch IPS display with a 1080 x 2340 resolution and water-drop notch for the front camera. You do get Face Unlock via the selfie cam, which is relatively fast and accurate. The same can be said for the biometric capabilities of the fingerprint scanner.
Internals, Camera, and LED System
Inside the phone is a MediaTek Helio P90 chipset, combined with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage with a micro-SD card slot. The phone currently runs on Android 12, with a very minimal skin that’s not too intrusive unlike what you’d get on heavier custom UIs like MIUI and One UI, for example.
While the P90 isn’t the fastest chip out there, it should be enough to get users the functions they need the most from the S89, which we imagine leans towards straightforward communication features such as phone and video calls, messaging, and occasional social media usage. With that said, it’s not ideal for performance-hungry tasks like gaming, and users should stick to “lighter” and “casual” games that will be within the processor’s limits.
The rear panel features the phone’s LED lighting system, which cleverly houses the LED notification system, something that we’ve seen on similar rugged phones on the market. The lights are programmable, and you can set them up to activate alongside notifications, calls, and even multimedia playback.
The phone has a triple-camera set-up consisting of a 64 MP main camera, 8 MP ultrawide lens, a 20 MP SONY night vision camera accompanied by 4 infrared night vision lights, an 8 MP macro camera, and a 16 MP front-facing camera. Camera quality is surprisingly good, with vibrant colors on the main shooter as well as the selfie camera, which you can check out in the photos below. The same can be said of the Night vision camera, which takes surprisingly clear shots. You can even tap to focus, provided that your subject is close enough to the camera lens.
The real star of the show here is the battery – there’s a massive 12,000 mAh battery built into the phone, and given the relatively “budget” processor, users shouldn’t have much of a problem getting the battery to last for a while, which is very ideal if one were to take the S89 pro camping for a couple of days, for example. Thankfully it does come with 65W fast-charging, which means that you don’t have to wait too long for the battery to fill up. Wireless charging is a bit slower though with a 15W rating.
But for relatively moderate users, or folks who are planning to use the S89 Pro strictly as a communication device for outdoor work and travel, the battery performance and longevity will be an excellent performer.
On the outside, the Doogee S89 Pro lives up to its appearance, offering a rugged and protective design with tough materials, while keeping a few tricks up its sleeve, such as a massive battery, a decent display, and surprisingly pleasant camera performance. It’s priced to compete in the budget to mid-range tier at around $359, and for that price you don’t get a lot of other rugged Android devices on the market.
For people after a utility device that they can bring along on outdoor trips and excursions, or simply want a tough Android phone that will last a fair number of years, then the Doogee S89 Pro is an ideal choice.